The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

Earths governments have collapsed, and corporations have taken the place of national governments. Morgan, the head of the Pulsystems corporation, has organized an expedition to the Frontera colony on Mars. As the novel opens, Kane, Takahashi, Reese, and Lena are about to enter Marss orbit.

Earth support of the Frontera colony had ended ten years previously, and communications from the colony to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) had stopped. Kane believes that the rescue mission is too late to do any good; while in training for the mission, however, Reese had heard a tape of a recent transmission from the colony.

The mission lands on Deimos, one of Marss moons, to obtain a landing craft. Reese finds a computer disk containing telemetry information about planetary movements and locations. The expedition boards a landing craft and, after landing on Mars, is met by a delegation from Frontera. The colonists, led by Curtis, do not welcome the expedition, which they fear is there only to exploit the colony.

Fifteen mutant children born on Mars live in a cave that served as the initial colony base. One of those children, who calls herself Verb, is the daughter of Curtis and his wife, Molly. Verbs mutation gave her extraordinary mental powers, and she has designed both a transporter capable of inexpensive long-distance shipping and a means of harnessing antimatter as an energy source. Molly has kept the childrens...

(The entire section is 565 words.)